Money Talks #1: Where do we stand?

Money talks but It’s not really something we like to speak about.

We all want to have enough of it, maybe even more than enough. For most of us, it’s the primary reason why we work. However we’re not good at bringing it up in a conversation or have a good grasp of how we relate with it. We either have money or we don’t. The middle ground with cash is somewhat of a dark art or down to luck and magic.

This month, Ideas Genius, breaks down our thoughts on managing, making and negotiating your personal and professional monies. There will be daily tweets on @ideasgenius (#MoneyTalks) and a weekly summary here and on Facebook. Our hope is that by looking more closely at our relationship with cash and credit, we will be able to take some of the guesswork out of how we handle money.

Jar of Coins crop

Part 1 – Where do we stand?: Examining our relationship with money.

Our first four days are about our relationship with Money. Just like that ubiquitous relationship question, understanding where we stand with our finances is critical to having any kind of success with it.

Day 1 – “Root of all evil?”

Find a phrase or quote that captures how you feel about money. Is it ‘Get rich or die trying’? Perhaps it’s ‘We need money’. Whichever it is, there is a reason why you feel this way about money. Try to work out why this phrase chimes with you. If this is your default when it comes to money, it could explain why you might be in a rut with it. It can also be the key to changing that tune.

Day 2 – “What does wealth mean to me?”

The best possible financial place to be is to be wealthy; very few people are working towards being poor. There is also a distinction between being wealthy and being rich. Wealth is defined as ‘to be well supplied; and rich is ‘to have an abundance’. So what will it mean to us to be well supplied with money? Think about how you are getting yours right now. How can you influence or increase the supply right now?

Day 3 – “Where am I now?”

If you audited your finances every month, what would be the most consistent description of your money status. Complete this phrase: “Each month, I am …”. Use one word that is a definitive state (i.e. Broke, Balanced or Wealthy) rather than something that lets you of the hook such as ‘getting by’ or ‘doing alright’. If we have more coming in than you spend, or vice versa, acknowledge that. It’s important to really understand where we are with money. This will help us later.

Day 4 – “How much do I need to be happy?”

I remember the first time I was asked this question. “About a million would do me nicely”, I said. The next question stumped me. “So you have a million, how are you going to use it to make you happy?” I realised then that I had picked an arbitrary figure – which was out of my reach – to define what my financial goal was. In essence, I was saying I didn’t really have a clue what is my ideal relationship with money; and that I didn’t ever expect to get there. It’s like dating without an expectation of marriage; soon it becomes fruitless – and fruitless finances is not what you want.

These first four thoughts about money should give us a clear understanding of where we stand with it.

  • How we feel about money,
  • What wealth looks like for us,
  • What our current financial status is, and
  • What being content with money looks like for us.

Our next five days are about managing what we have (or don’t have). Follow @ideasgenius and #MoneyTalks on Twitter or catch up here and on Facebook. As always, share with a friend if you feel they will appreciate the post. Thank you in advance.

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